Iowa Police Department Being Sued By High-Ranking State Official
Last week, a story we reported said two individual Des Moines police officers were suing Black Live Matter protesters as a result of a 2020 incident that they claimed left them unable to properly respond to other incidents at the time. This civil suit involved only the two police officers, but a new lawsuit involves the collective Des Moines Police Department, its chief, and the city of Des Moines, and it has been filed by none other than the Assistant attorney general of Iowa.
According to the Des Moines Register, Paxton Williams represents the state in income and tax cases as an attorney for the revenue division in the Attorney General's Office. His lawsuit, on behalf of himself, alleges excessive force against him at a protest on June 1, 2020, the night of the firing of former Register journalist Andrea Sahouri.
His complaint states in part that Williams
was shocked that law enforcement officers would instigate such violence and escalate it by chasing after individuals, using tear gas, rubber-bullets, pepper spray, and tackling, arresting or otherwise detaining individuals who had simply been excising their Iowa and federal constitutional rights
The city has not yet filed a response to Williams's complaint, which Paxton said was not filed out of animosity toward law enforcement, noting that he works closely with several agencies across the state, but after being arrested felt that the arrest would hinder his ability to effectively perform his duties.
Williams' suit is among at least eight cases filed against DMPD in the wake of their alleged actions during the protest.